The Children’s Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
banditti – plural of “bandit,” thieves
moulder – decay; crumble to dust
1. Describe the speaker of this poem. What is the speaker’s gender? What do you think the speaker’s relation is to Alice, Allegra, and Edith?
The speaker is male (“an old moustache as I am”).
Answers to the second question may vary. Example: The speaker is most likely a father or grandfather to the girls.
2. Find and record an example of half rhyme in the first stanza.
“Lower” and “hour” make up the half rhyme in the first stanza.
3. The speaker makes a reference to the “Bishop of Bingen,” a figure from outside the poem whom the speaker assumes readers will recognize. What is the literary term for this kind of reference?
Such a reference is called an allusion.
4. Rather than saying, “Such an old person as I am,” the speaker says, “Such an old moustache as I am.” In using a part (moustache) to stand for a whole (person), what literary device is Longfellow employing?
Longfellow is employing synecdoche.